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MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
London, Leicester Square Theatre
14th November 2011
According to a quote from the Sunday Times, the Leicester Square Theatre is "an unquestionably groovy place to be". The same could be said about the mind of Glenn Hughes. Here's a man who reached the dizzy heights of success and fame with Deep Purple, only to go on and lead a destructive life lost in cocaine addiction that would last for over two decades. Thankfully, Hughes not only managed to turn his life around and live to tell the tale, but also stayed on top of the game and kept one of the best voices known to mankind. He now has a work schedule that sees him busier than ever before.
Billed as 'An Evening With Glenn Hughes', the man was here tonight to play his first official solo acoustic gig and to read extracts from his new autobiography. 'From Deep Purple To Black Country Communion'. Introduced by co-author Joel McIver, Hughes soon banished any backstage nerves and played a highly enjoyable set that pleased all Glenn Hughes' anorak and connoisseur fans. He performed songs in their stripped-down form, mostly in chronological order, with many latterday songs from his solo years featuring lyrics about his 'lost' years.
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Opening with five numbers from his first major band Trapeze, a gentleman in front of me let out a climactic sigh as if he just had sex for the first time, after Hughes masterfully sang the dreamy 'Coast To Coast'. I also had to politely tell another gentleman to my right to "sssh!", as he was enthusiastically singing along to every word. There was only one man's voice I wanted to hear. At times, I felt Hughes didn't even need a microphone, as his voice was still projected out across the theatre even when he was a few feet away from the mic.
Hughes asked the audience to call out a random number, whereby he read out a paragraph from his new autobiography. Page 29 was the first page he read from, citing a paragraph about his Trapeze guitarist Mel Galley giving a young Hughes advice on how to get lucky with the ladies. Later on, the stories get darker, as he tells about his well-publicised addiction and how, at one time, he suffered a heart attack.
His time in Deep Purple got a quick lookover with 'Holy Man' and 'You Keep On Moving', which Hughes introduced with a perfect Coverdale impersonation.
Although doing the songs in chronological order, the next song was 'From Now On', written some eighteen years after his time in Purple and, although he did make some records (including the Hughes/Thrall album and one with Black Sabbath), I believe this tells you all you need to know about where Hughes' mind was at this time.
Black Country Communion's 'Little Secret' got its debut airing, but the most poignant song was 'I Don't Want To Live That Way Again', showcasing the fact that Hughes today is a very happy man indeed.
This was a magical evening where Glenn Hughes could've happily played all night without any complaints from anyone. A true star and living legend.
It's Only A Dream
Coast To Coast
Will Our Love End
What Is A Womans Role
You Keep On Moving
From Now On
Too Late To Save The World
I Don't Want To Live That Way Again